Teacher Research Symposium Spring 2012

The College of Education held the Spring Teacher Research Symposium on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012.  Approximately 300 Teacher Candidates presented the results of their teaching inquiry research studies in poster session format.  The Fall 2012 Symposium will be held on Tuesday December 11 from 1-4pm on the 2nd floor Hallway of Farish Hall.  Come see what we're all about!

I was just wondering . . .

Each semester, student teachers are asked to reflect on something they are curious about in their teaching, which becomes the foundation for their research. Presenters are divided into several presentation groups. While one group of candidates presents their findings, the other groups served as the audience. Here are some of their wonderings and what they discovered during the Spring 2012 semester:

Selin Akin

Selin Akin wondered how to build classroom communities to promote positive communication as well as the power of belonging.  She built a community in her classroom with objectives based on the book by Mona Halaby:  Belonging: Creating Community in the Classroom.   For example, each week Akin had the students gather together to discuss and resolve problems and conflicts that occurred in the classroom.  She found that by building communities in her classroom students had a greater sense of belonging, were treated more like adults and felt that the teacher really cared about them.  This, she said would ultimately lead to better learning outcomes.

Amanda Sanchez

Amanda Sanchez wondered what are some strategies that will help students retain information. She used strategies with 1st and 5th graders using higher level thinking processes.   She found that when fifth grade science students used mnemonic devices or phrases to recall information, they retained that information longer.  For example, they created fun phrases with the first letter of each word representing the letters in a particular a planet. 

Amber Thompson
Teacher Education Program Director, Amber Thompson

As the fifth bi-annual symposium, this event has grown to have an impressive impact on the student teachers. “It serves two purposes for student teachers which is like a two-way street."  said Program Director, Amber Thompson.  "First it gives them the opportunity to conduct hands-on research on something they really care about and share it with others.  Secondly, they are inspired by other student teachers' creative ideas which they can take back into their classrooms.”

The event was well attended by faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students who support teacher research in the college.  The QEP-funded undergraduate research initiative presents a major opportunity for professional development for undergraduate students.

The UH Teacher Education Program has been recognized by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) as the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education at the University of Houston.  Students in the program learn to teach with the latest research-based strategies and modern technologies from a world-class faculty. Future teachers participate in early and continued field experiences in urban schools, doing the real work of real teachers.